For those who have the “pleasure” of using this airline, you may suspect this would be a very short post, but, of course, it may be slightly tongue in cheek.
I’ve been a member of their frequent flyer program for a few years, at one stage being a Gold member before dropping back down to Silver, where I currently reside.
I reached the Gold standard in my last job, who kindly paid my twice monthly flights to the African continent and home business class. The air miles soon mount up and I was more than happy to have access to the Air France lounges (no matter what class I flew on any particular flight) and to turn left once on board. The difference between business and cattle class is massive, as all who have done both will attest. Sadly I then changed job and the flights were back to economy with the entailed misery that brings. I quickly then dropped back down to Silver, no entrance to club lounge and turning right once on board.
Although only Silver and flying economy, one of the advantages was that I was always given either an aisle seat or a window (where there only two seats) which, although not as good as stretching out on a business class bed is far better than being sat in the middle of a row of five seats.
Recently, (and stupidly) I complained to Air France twice, on two different subjects within a very short space of time. One was pricing and the second was a question related to service (or lack of). Now, I’ve lived in France for 10 years, I should have known better than to complain. As a general idea, the word “service” in France also means “a favour” and this is often how things are seen in the French service industry. I shouldn’t have complained, I should have just shut up and accepted it, but I forgot myself and thought for a few mad crazy seconds that I was in a country where customer service and the client was important.
And, lo, as if by magic, I suddenly found that I’m no longer afforded the pleasures of a window or aisle seat.
The first time it happened I hadn’t even looked at my seat number till I boarded. I said hello to the hostess and then looked to see if I turned straight right, or, even worse, pass the width of the business class cabin to my left before turning right.
“E?” “E?” I wasn’t quite sure of what I’d read but wandered down and found that indeed “E” was in the middle aisle. I stood, loitering by the toilets until I heard “boarding complete” I looked round and saw that the flight wasn’t too full, so grabbed myself an aisle seat. Second flight though was absolutely rammed, fuller than a full thing on a full day. I had the absolute pleasure of spending just over six hours wedged in between two ladies who were adamant that their seat wasn’t quite big enough, so they needed a third of mine too.
I’m now in the hideous position of wanting to change my preferred carrier, but having so many air miles that I’m loathe to leave the lowest rewarding air miles programme currently in operation.